You thrive on tight deadlines.
You're driven by excellence and set out to be and do your best at everything.
You often have more than three projects going at once. You believe you're the Queen of Multi-tasking.
Even when you're doing nothing you're doing something.
People often ask you "when do you sleep?"
You laugh when you say, "I don't sleep all that much."
In fact, your internal gas tank runs below empty most of the time and when Friday rolls around, your brain is fried and your body is completely exhausted. You spend most weekends in your pjs eating stale cheese puffs and watching re-runs of Friends.
If this sounds like you, you are in the right place. Welcome to Overachievers R Us. My name is Peggy Nolan and I am an overachiever. I'm here to help you chill out, relax, and take a deep, deep breath.
As an overachiever I know that your switch is always on. You rarely stop doing long enough to recharge. You're in high demand from friends, family, and co-workers. And because you are driven by excellence and achievement, you have a difficult time shutting down and saying no.
To help you take better care of you, I've put together a list of 13 simple ways you can relax with ease and without feeling guilty. The world will not fall apart while you're in a timeout.
- Take a break from social media. Maybe this tip is more for me than you but if you're always connected because you think something will happen without you knowing about it, relax. If it's worth knowing it can wait until after you've recharged.
Begin each day with gratitude. Overachievers have a deep seeded fear of not being needed, approved of, respected, or we fear losing our prestige. These fears drive us at a subconscious level to excel at nearly all costs. Before your feet hit the floor, honor your intellect, your knowledge and wisdom, and your abilities to get things done effectively and efficiently. This will help you start your day confidently and with ease. Spend at least five minutes every day in silence, prayer, or meditation. If there's one thing I know for sure about overachievers is that our minds are on 24/7 and racing at light speed. Five minutes of silence, prayer, or meditation allows you to slow down and connect with your inner guidance system. Turning within will help you determine which direction is the most important. Take a gentle or restorative yoga class once a week. If you're an over-doing overachiever your body is mostly likely screaming at you to slow down. Maybe you have chronic headaches or upset stomach. Maybe you live on antacid and aspirin. This is your body telling you to slow down. Start with an hour a week. Your body will love you for it. Tune into the sounds of nature or other sounds that relax your mind, body, and soul. Each of us responds or reacts to sound in different ways. Find the sounds that bring a sense of calm and relaxation to your being. It could be the sound of the ocean, birds, wind chimes, or maybe it's light jazz or Tibetan bowls. Change your scene. Take time off from work. Find someone to watch your kids for a few hours. Go to the beach, lake, a meadow, your local park - anywhere that gets you out of your cube or away from the same four walls you've been staring at. Stop over crowding your already overbooked schedule. That one more thing you think you can do before you leave for work, leave it be. It can wait. That meeting or conference call you think you can squeeze in to an overbooked day, don't. That client who calls during lunch will you're still eating, tell her when you're next available appointment is tomorrow and go back to eating your lunch. Delegate lesser tasks. As an overachiever I know you think only you can do the job and every single little task. News flash: Someone else can schedule your social media posts. Someone else can format and send out your weekly newsletter. Someone else (or an app) can schedule your clients. Your kids, provided they're old enough, can do their own laundry. Apply the Rule of Three: Remove three things from your to-do list. Say no to three unimportant requests for your time. Set boundaries around your to-do list so that only the three most important things are on it. An unfocused and chaotic to-do list will keep your overachieving self chronically cranky. Plan for Do Nothing weekends. Let's face it, overachievers aren't the most spontaneous sort because they usually don't have enough time to be spontaneous. That's why it's vital to plan at least one Do Nothing weekend a month. No schedule, no commitments - just 48 hours of BEing time. Celebrate your accomplishments. Nothing makes an overachiever giggle with joy than to cross something off her to-do list. Go on - if it's done, cross it off. High five yourself. Do the wiggle dance. Have some chocolate and a glass of wine. Put your feet up, relax, and congratulate yourself for a job well done. Create a calming night time ritual. Most overachievers don't get enough sleep and some suffer from insomnia. After a day of overdoing or over-giving, you need to recharge your body at the cellular level. Sleep is the best way to do this. To get a good night's sleep you may want to do one or more of the following:Breathe. Thank God our autonomic nervous system takes care of breathing for us. I'm positive that many overachievers would suffocate if it weren't for this autonomic function. All kidding aside, the breathing I'm talking about is the conscious, aware breathing. The next time you're at a red light, instead of ruminating about the last conversation you had with your boss, take 5 deep belly breaths. Inhale through your nose and as you inhale, silently repeat to yourself, "I am here." Exhale through your nose and as you exhale, silently repeat to yourself, "I am now." Talk about an instant chill pill.
-- Disconnect from the Internet and T.V. at least an hour before bed
-- Spritz some lavender on your pillow
-- Curl up with a good book
If you're an overachiever who has learned how to chill out, I'd love to hear from you. Do you have a no guilt tip that helps you relax? Please share in the comments below!
This article first appeared in Aspire Magazine.
About Peggy Nolan
Peggy is a sacred badass warrior and recovering Type A overachiever. She's a best selling author, yoga teacher, and 3rd degree black belt. If you liked her article, you can download her free ebook, 30 Ways to Boost Your Positivity and begin your journey towards a happier and healthier life today.